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Premier League Week 27 Fixtures: EPL Picks and Predictions

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea next to Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Davinson Sanchez of Tottenham Hotspur  during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 22, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge on Saturday when his Tottenham Hotspur side open Week 27 of the Premier League against his former club, Chelsea.

Spurs have shrugged off the injury absence of striker Harry Kane to win their last three league games, and Mourinho's team will climb above the Blues with another victory.

Manchester City travel to the King Power Stadium in the evening fixture with bad memories of their last visit to Leicester City in December 2018, when they succumbed 2-1 and finished the game with 10 men.

League leaders Liverpool won't be in action until Monday evening, when they'll close Week 27 at home to West Ham United having beaten the east London side 2-0 away on January 29.

Manchester United will seek to build on Monday's 2-0 win at Chelsea when they host Watford on Sunday seeking revenge for the 2-0 loss they suffered at Vicarage Road in December. Arsenal welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on the same day and can move above the Toffees with a win.

Sheffield United could end Week 27 in the top four if they beat Brighton & Hove Albion at home and other results go in their favour.

Wolverhampton Wanderers also have a chance to move further into European contention with a home clash against Norwich City, who sit bottom of the table and seven points from safety.

     

Week 27 Fixtures, Predictions

Saturday, February 22

Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur, 12:30 p.m. GMT/7:30 a.m. ET

Burnley 2-0 Bournemouth, 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET

Crystal Palace 1-0 Newcastle United, 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET

Sheffield United 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion, 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET

Southampton 2-1 Aston Villa, 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET

Leicester City 1-2 Manchester City, 5:30 p.m. GMT/12:30 p.m. ET

     

Sunday, February 23

Manchester United 3-1 Watford, 2 p.m. GMT/9 a.m. ET

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Norwich City2 p.m. GMT/9 a.m. ET

Arsenal 1-1 Everton, 4:30 p.m. GMT/11:30 a.m. ET

       

Monday, February 24

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United, 8 p.m. GMT/3 p.m. ET

      

Mourinho Seeks Revenge Back at the Bridge

Chelsea's 2-0 loss at home to United on Monday left Frank Lampard's side with one win in their last five games.

The Blues boss got the better of Mourinho when they met for the first time as managerial rivals in late December.

A first-half Willian brace set the former England international on course for what was a much-needed victory in north London, made all the easier after Spurs forward Heung-Min Son was sent off after 62 minutes:

One might think Chelsea can follow that away win with another three-point haul in the reverse fixture. However, football writer Colin Millar highlighted home advantage isn't as valuable for the Blues under Lampard as it was when Mourinho was in charge:

Colin Millar @Millar_Colin

Frank Lampard has now lost as many Premier League matches (5) at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea boss as Jose Mourinho did. Lampard has managed 13 home league games, Mourinho managed 107. (Mourinho only lost 1 of his first 100 Premier League home games)

Son bagged a decisive double when Tottenham struck late to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in their last league outing, which built on their impressive 2-0 victory against Manchester City in early February.

The South Korea international will play no part at Stamford Bridge, though, after Tottenham confirmed he suffered an arm fracture during their dramatic win at Villa Park.

Chelsea's hopes are also hindered by the injury absences of N'Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic, while striker Tammy Abraham remains a doubt, per The Athletic's Simon Johnson:

Simon Johnson @SJohnsonSport

Lampard has told Fifth Stand App that he thinks #CFC defender Christensen suffered a broken nose tonight (in incident before the first goal). Says #Kante, #Pulisic and #HudsonOdoi won't be fit to face #THFC. #Abraham is just rated as a 'maybe'.

A run of just two defeats in their last 12 matches suggests Tottenham have the momentum to claim at least a share of the spoils, and Mourinho has proved his ability to cope with key absences in the past.

The Blues will hope Spurs suffer a hangover from Wednesday's clash at home to RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with Chelsea not due to face Bayern Munich until February 25.

          

United's Midseason Surge Continues

Odion Ighalo made his Manchester United debut in the closing minutes of the win at Chelsea, but the first Nigerian to play for the Red Devils could earn his full debut against former club Watford on Sunday.

United have gone unbeaten in successive Premier League games for the first time in 2020, although some will argue a couple of controversial calls by the video assistant referee could have altered the result at Stamford Bridge.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hailed the growing impact of January signing Bruno Fernandes after the Chelsea win, while Eric Bailly also provided a calming presence at the heart of his defence, via the Manchester Evening News:

Man United News @ManUtdMEN

💬 'He's quick, he's strong, brave as a lion and it's great to have him back' 🗣️ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was pleased with how @B_Fernandes8 and @ericbailly24 performed in the win over Chelsea. #MUFC | #CHEMUN https://t.co/mvaZClRkOE

Avoiding defeat against Watford could see United go unbeaten in three straight league matches for the first time since early December, and the Hornets gave them all the motivation they need with their surprise win on December 22.

Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney were Watford's scorers in that triumph, and the former could return to Nigel Pearson's lineup after missing their last three league games with a hamstring injury:

Solskjaer's side have gone more than 360 minutes without conceding across all competitions, although they visit Club Brugge on Thursday for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 encounter.

Watford's hopes for a surprise 2019-20 double against United aren't aided by the fact they've lost a lot of their initial lustre under Pearson, and they will now be hoping to avoid a fourth defeat in five games across all competitions.

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